1692-1892; A Memorial Volume of the Bi-Centennial Celebration of
the Town of Windham, Connecticut, containing the historical addresses,
poems, and a description of events connected with the observance
of the two hundreth anniversary of the incorporation of the town,
as held in the year 1892."
Published by the Committee, Hartford, CT, 1893
Windhams Second Century &SHY;
Old Windham of To-Day:
The coming of the railways robbed
Windham Green of the last of her ancient gloriesthe stage coach
and the prosperous tavern. The town
clerks office and probate records and the polling place were
removed to Willimantic about 1862. The establishment of Willimantic
Institute in 1842 had brought into the field a formidable rival to the
old Windham Bank, which since its establishment in 1832, had been the
financial centre of the town. It was a novel thing for the people to
have money. Common trade theretofore had been mostly in barter. Windham
bank notes were a curiosity, and the $2 bills with their photographs
of Col. Dyer and Col. Elderkin at either end, and the picture of fighting
frogs in the centre, were the towns pride.
In 1854 the Windham Bank had been robbed of $7,000 in specie, and $15,000
in securities, the cashier, James Parsons, being bound and
gagged. The watch dog as killed. Parsons quickly recovered himself
and gave the alarm. The robbers then took a hand car at what is now
Camp crossing, went to Norwich and hid in the woods on the Preston
side. They were captured on a steamer when leaving Allyns Point
and most of the money was recovered. The robbers were sent to Wethersfield.
The affair caused the biggest scare in Windham since the Frog fright.
[Corrections and Additions in the back of the book state: Samuel Bingham
was cashier of the Windham Bank when it was robbed, James Parsons was
teller and slept in the building.]
In 1879, the old bank yielded to the popular pressure and was removed
to Willimantic, where to-day it takes rank as a leading financial
institution. Other banks have been organized in Willimantic, The Merchants
Loan and Trust in 1870, the Dime Savings Bank in 1872, the
First National in 1878.
The Windham Centre of to-day remains a residence district, with not a
few of her honorable old families remaining. In recent years she has
caught a new life from the receding tide of the congested cities, and
to-day the Green is growing in popularity as a summer resort, offering
delightful opportunities for health and recreation. Handsome new trees,
set by forethoughtful citizens a score of years ago, to succeed the
ancient elms, have now grown to handsome proportions. The crumbling relics
of ancient industries have been cleared away and modern Windham Green
had donned a dress becoming her new destiny. There is beginning a wholesome
movement from the city to the town. We are learning that this huddling
of people into cities is a mistake, and it is to be hoped that in the
near future the land may be more evenly populated and more intelligently
used. In such a development, Old Windham wills hare as well as the New.